Saturday, August 31, 2013

Halloween Sampler

It's August so that must mean it's Halloween??? You've got to start early to get ahead especially with The Frosted Pumpkin's stitcheries. The stitch along starts on 9 September and lasts for three weeks. This time they've turned it up a notch. The borders are fancy with skulls and spiders, the fabric is mottled and the thread for four of the colours is hand dyed so has small variations in the base colour. I was able to buy Zweigart 32 count Belfast linen in Vintage Dune which has a hand dyed look. I also forgot to say this sampler is on 32 count linen. I don't know if my old eyes will cope.
from the sneak peek above posted on their Facebook page it looks like each block will contain one of the nine letters that spell Halloween. It looks very cute.
As the borders have very few straight lines and neither does the linen, I did start the autumn sampler borders first. However I realised this week that with nine days to go, I ought to start the borders, if I want to be a speedy stitcher. It's coming together and even if I just finish the top right corner before 9 September, I'll be ready for the first week, but I hope to get it all done over the next few days.
Jersey Live is on this weekend, so I will get some time to just sit and stitch, once we've dropped the children to the venue. 10,000 festival goers are expected. I have finished the first of two customer quilts, so I'm on target for getting them both finished this week.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Deckade the Halls

Woot woot. I have caught up with the Deckade the Halls quilt along by the Fat Quarter Shop - just in time for part 9 to be released on Monday then two weeks later, the finishing instructions are released. Even I might have it finished by THIS Christmas.

This is part 9 Trim the Tree with fabrics from Summersville Spring, Bonnie & Camille and a random spotted fabric.

This is the last block set (Season of Giving) I made with Bonnie & Camille and Aneela Hoey prints with some Moda Essential dots in red.


And last but not least the Holiday Home coming set in Simply Style, Pearl Bracelets and the random green dot again. The last set is of cocoa mugs and I'll try and repeat some of the fabrics I've already used in the other seven block sets to try and pull it together. Time to get back to my long arm.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Simply Solids swaps now up to date

Simply solids Amaranth July

Yesterday was a satisfying trip to the Post Office to post a thank you card for the lovely haberdashery, the Sewing Room swap (photos to follow once it's arrived) and three months of Simply Solids swaps - only one of which was late and one is early.

Firstly we have the curvy block for Alice, which I have avoided as I don't really wing it. however I came up with my own method which worked brilliantly. I placed two rectangles of fabric on top of each other and cut a curve down the middle. Then I sewed two pairs together. Repeat several times and then when it came to sewing pairs together, I stacked the pieces again and cut and joined. Really pleased with this one.

Amaranth August
This one was harder than July's and I'm not happy with the centre points but I unpicked it more than I usually would so had to call it finished. This was pieced in four quarters but may have been better as two foundation pieced halves. All those points converging was never going to be easy.

Amaranth simply solids bee September
And lastly Amy's block for September was improve which is out of my comfort zone again but I'm pleased with the results. note to self - start with a bigger centre. I trimmed the block before posting so I stitched 1/8" in all the way around the block to minimise stretch.
Tomorrow I'll share my Deckade the Halls blocks which are now up to date but today I need to load up a customer quilt on the long arm and finish it no later than tomorrow. Then I have another customer quilt to quilt and then I can work on my own projects.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Habby treasure

About a week ago, a school friend facebooked me and asked if I knew of anyone who would be interested in her Mum's stash of haberdashery. I think my response may have felt like I was snatching, but let's just say my response was an enthusiastic "Me please". I turned up earlier than planned and Janine was not yet suitably dressed but I had a lovely chat with her and her mum. There were five boxes in all, the first was full of assorted useful zips. The second above has useful trims including gold ric rac and some pale blue daisy trim. I remember Mum made Joanne and I matching dresses with similar trims. I may use some of this on my applique cushion to trim the roof of the little house.

The next box was full of delicious lace trims including several that were crocheted - not machine made. They would look great on some pillowcases.
The last two boxes are button tins - many of the buttons are from Janine's grandmother and aunt. Inside the big tins are these sweet smaller tins.
Lovely little mother of pearl buttons which are very useful.

Look at that little Oxo tin. I was particularly intrigued by the buttons on the blue cards. Apparently they are linen buttons and were used on underwear and night clothes. I've never seen their like before. Have you?
Another box of even more mother of pearl. Look at those lovely buckles. I think I should go and have another rifle through the boxes, to see what treasures I haven't yet uncovered. Lucky me.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Slower progress

deckade the halls 6

Progress yesterday and this morning was slower. However Matthew has now passed his motor bike test, so cause for celebration. Today I've finished the Deckade the Halls part six - season of giving, so just one more part and I'm caught up.

Amaranth August

This morning I managed to break a needle trying to improve the matching of the points on this August block for the Simply Solids Amaranth swap. I have unpicked it more times than I would usually and I've now called it finished. Not as good as I would like it to be unfortunately but it's also ready to post on Tuesday.

I have finished the social tote and contacted the designers to let them know about the errata. The pin cushion just needs to be slip stitched closed. I'll share some photos once it's been posted and on its way to its recipient. I will aslo have some photos to share on a friend's mother's haberdashery stash that she has passed to me. Linen buttons, crocheted lace and of course a great button box.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Catching up with commitments

Social tote ready for binding

I have decided that this is the week to catch up with my sewing commitments. I think I have the following to do:
Sewing room swap
Siblings Together block for July
Simply Solids for July and August

Alongside these commitments I want to catch up with the Deckade the Halls sew along. The seventh part was published on Monday and I have completed the first four.

Yesterday I decided the most important one to do was the social tote for the large item for the sewing room swap. I had the pattern all ready and I bought the fabric at Fat Quarterly Retreat. It all went swimmingly until I came across a piece that wouldn't fit no matter how much I stretched it. In the end I think it is 1" short and there's a typo on the pattern so I added a little piece of another fabric to make it work. Our guild meeting last night was surprisingly short, so I managed to fit in another hour last night. It is now ready for the binding to be hand stitched tonight and I hope there's some half decent telly to watch whilst I do it.

Decade the Halls part 7

Today I decided to work on the September Amaranth block as it seemed an easy one and then I'd get ahead along with the Trim the Tree block (part 7) for the Deckade the Halls. I chose this block as it also looked easy to put together. I was right and got the trees made quickly and then started on the August Simply Solids block which I should finish tomorrow.

Amaranth simply solids bee September

The September block for Amy is improv. Eek. Not my thing at all. However it's finished and I'm happy with it. Another time I need to remember to start with a larger piece in the middle as this is a 15" block. Ready to pop in the post.

Unfortunately we are no further on with our kitchen as the red glittery splashback had a chip in it. No amount of persuading would get me to agree to take it so there's another two to three week wait for a replacement.

Tomorrow I plan to do the gifts part of the Deckade the Halls sew along and finish the August Simply Solids block which is about 60% done already. I also need to locate the pieces for the ST2 block which I started about three weeks ago. I found one piece so the others must be close by.

Monday, August 19, 2013


The fence has been painted, so I celebrated by painting my nails before falling asleep at about 8 last night. I hadn't felt well all day and this morning, I still feel shaky. The neighbours at the Trinity property were kind enough to tell me that part of the side fence is falling down which will just have to wait.

I have also worked on my autumn sampler frames. However today I need to focus on the sewing room swap as that needs to be posted by 25 August. I have the pattern and fabric and that's as far as I've progressed.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

FNSI August 2013

I had more time on my hands yesterday than planned as it rained on the morning so fence posting had to be postponed until today.  I've just heard one third of the team is helping air cadets today.


I decided to work on my July Simply Solids block yesterday. I printed off the instructions, watched a video and headed to my room. Damn I was in the middle of some applique on this patter by Lenora Jenkins which was an OPAM prize from peg. Now I know I said I wouldn't start it, but I lied. The chain stitch wreath was completed on our cruise and I borrowed a holly die from Lorraine to cut the holly leaves rather than do them by hand. So yesterday I finished machine blanket stitching the leaves down. Next I need to do the house which should be straight forward once I've resolved my dilemma over the scalloped edge to the roof. As I am doing machine applique with Bondaweb, I can't use ric rac as it would show up under the roof so I'm looking for either a scalloped ribbon or a narrow white lace.

I also decided to start stitching the frames for the Autumn Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin. Although the Halloween Sampler starts first, the borders are much more intricate so I thought I'd do this simpler framework first and I have seven done already. they may not be complete but doing the first half stitch eliminates any miscounting so the second half stitch is much quicker.
Time to get ready for painting the fence.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A good start to the day

A good start to the day with Matthew's AS results - 3Bs and a C. A relief all round and I hope he can build on those results in the coming year at Welbeck. Flights were booked a few weeks ago for the coming term, so we are almost set for the start of the school year. A few days after the beginning of term, Lizzie is off to Disneyland Paris to play in the park with the Beaulieu & De la Salle Big Band.

As intended, I got back to my sewing machine yesterday and finished this log cabin table runner from the hen party last month. The wedding is on Saturday and apparently it's going to be on display so it's now ready for collection. The fabric is by Moda and is a jelly roll cut in half as the logs on the cabins which were foundation pieced are 3/4" wide.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Greetings from the Beach

I won the pattern for Greetings from the Beach from the Frosted Pumpkin for being a runner up in their speedy stitcher contest for the summer sampler. After getting back from holiday, I decided to start it working on some Aida I already had as I thought it would be a quick project to do until I found my sewjo again. Fast forward ten days and it still wasn't finished and I had a call yesterday to tell me the wedding for the hen do I taught about three weeks ago is this Saturday. Eek. I haven't touched the log cabin blocks since the event, so I thought I'd better get finishing the cross stitch ready to put together the table runner today. There were two Kirstie Allsop programmes on last night so I had those on in the background as I stitched and I even stayed up until past 11.
So once showered and dressed I plan to work on the table runner. First I have to locate the work in progress and remind myself how far the hen and friends got and then finish the twelve blocks needed for the runner. Hopefully I'll have progress to report by tomorrow.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Back from my holidays

We have been back a week but I have lost my mojo. Perhaps the loss of my mojo isn't surprising after suffering concussion on holiday. I was wearing sensible shoes on a wet granite pavement in Bergen - our first cruise stop and slipped and banged my head. I sat up and felt the blood on my head, and that's the last thing I remember until about 45 minutes later when I was stood outside the medical centre on the cruise ship. Scary. Nick says there was a lovely big puddle of blood on the pavement and that I kept asking where Matthew and Elizabeth were. Matthew was gliding in England and Lizzie is still on pilgrimage in a place whose name I can't spell.
The length of time that it is taking to do up my rental property and also finish the kitchen at our house is also sapping my energy. I appreciate the tradesmen who do what they promise to do on the date arranged and communicate problems as they arise and even let me know when they've finished. And the rest - the sooner this is finished the better and we can get back to something close to normal. Photos to follow next week.
Siblings Together 2 blocks for August

My bee commitments have started to pile up, but this one for August's Siblings Together Bee mama took about an hour and used scrap strips from a swap at FQR and some fabric scraps from Liz Dandelion for the FQ of  Sunkissed by Sweetwater that I sent Liz. I definitely got the better end of the deal. :)
Siblings Together 2 for August
I've also started a new cross stitch which I thought would be a quick make, but as I have no get up and go, progress is very slow. But hopefully by Monday the rental property will be in the hands of a letting agent and I can get back to some stitching.

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